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      Everyone loves chocolate

      New Year's Eve is just around the corner which usually leads to hollow pledges of more exercise and less junk food. But there are still three days left to pile on the sweets. Friday was a good time to start as it is National Chocolate Day.

      Donckers in Marquette has been making chocolate candies for more than a century right below the shop itself. Chefs start preparing for the day's sugar rush in the wee hours of the morning, breaking apart massive batches of chocolate to be melted down, meticulously cutting savory cubes of caramel, and finishing them off with a dip in the chocolate pool.

      "They've allowed us to have the creative freedom to experiment with new things. We run it by them, but they don't seem to mind because we have a good track record down here," said Donckers' Chef, Akasha Morherudaen.

      Donckers' culinary artists have dreamt up a variety of new concoctions.

      Maple bacon truffles and raspberry basil truffles will highlight the Super Alliance for Independent Living's Chocolate Festival held at Northern Michigan University on February 8.